Here’s my story from today’s Journal News on Tim Sullivan replacing Bill Tribou as Horace Greeley’s football coach in 2012:
Because of his ongoing suspension, Bill Tribou will not coach the Horace Greeley football team this season. Seeking to provide the program with some semblance of continuity through its transition, the district’s board of education appointed longtime Tribou assistant Tim Sullivan as the varsity team’s interim coach.
The school’s athletic director, Steve Young, would not comment on Tribou’s situation, but said Sullivan’s stability was an important ingredient in his appointment.
“Tim knows the system. He’s familiar with everything,” Young said. “He knows the kids. He knows the system. He was the natural guy to keep everything intact. He has the respect of the parents as well.”
Tribou, a physical education teacher, has not been fired from the school and the reason behind his suspension remains unclear. Despite protests from players, parents and alumni at its meetings since Tribou’s suspension this spring, the board of education has declined to comment publicly on the matter because it is a personnel issue.
Sullivan, who played quarterback at Greeley from 1987-88, has served as a coach under Tribou since 1995. He joined the varsity as an assistant in 2000 and has actively worked with the team’s quarterbacks, including recent star Justin Ciero.
Sullivan and returning assistants Dave Boniello and Dylan Clark ran the team’s spring workouts and its June camp. They have and will continue to retain much of Tribou’s offense and defense to ease the transition.
“It’s been trying on everybody,” Sullivan said. “The players, the parents, the players from the past and the coaching staff. I feel by taking this over we’re bringing some stability, some continuity. It’s the right thing to do for the players. These are the people who are really getting hurt. I really wanted to make sure the players were taken care of.”
Sullivan said he talked to Tribou about the decision to fill his position but would not comment on whether he received the coach’s blessing.
Sullivan accepted the position with consternation. He insisted on the interim title with the hope Tribou can return in 2013.
“I think there’s a chance,” Sullivan said. “I took the interim role because of that. I didn’t want to step on his toes. This is his program. It’s a difficult situation with me taking it over, but I think it’s the right thing to do for the players.”
Sullivan will return to work under Greeley’s former athletic director and physical education teacher Pete Kuczma, who was hired as a consultant in the athletic department. Kuczma coached Sullivan in high school and taught him as far back as kindergarten.
Tribou was not available for comment. Although he has confirmed the suspension, the school district has told Tribou not to discuss it publicly.